OK. This is not really a question.
I am posting my negative experience to assure foreign visitors to Australia who might have similar encounters that we are not all ignorant, lazy and onoxious.
Here is what happened to me.
A friend and myself arrived at Sydney airport. We wanted to go to a suburb called Five Dock. We decided to go by train and bus.
The clerk at the airport railway station was on the phone and graciously interrupted his call to find out what we wanted, barely looking at us and resuming his call immediately.
Once at Central, my friend knew where to get the bus and when we arrived at the bus stop, we saw that the convience store there sold tickets. I went in and asked for a ticket for Five Dock. The shop assistant sold me a My Bus Zone 1 ticket.
Sydney has only just adopted a new ticketing system and my friend had an unused bus ticket from his previous visit (which he had bought to go to Five Dock, but did not end up using).
He asked the shop assistant if his old ticket was still valid. After a minute referring to some papers, the shop assistant said it wasn't valid and he offered him a My Bus Zone 3 ticket.
At this point I interjected and asked why he had sold me a My Bus 1 ticket if 3 was the right one.
The shop assistant haughtily replied that the purchaser was supposed to ask for the appropriate ticket and how was he supposed to know what zone our destination was in?
In response, I managed to convey that I felt extremely dissatisfied with his customer service skills and suggested that as he was incompetent in his job he might consider doing something else.
I decided to exchange my My Bus 1 ticket for a 3 and my friend decided to chance it with the old ticket.
When the bus arrived, my friend validated his ticket without any problems. I showed my ticket to the driver and asked if it was the right one for Five Dock. His unexpected and ungracious response was, "I don't know, just stick it in the machine."
All in all, these were three extremely unsatisfactory encounters.
It occurred to me that if I was a foreigner visiting Sydney for the first time, I would probably be thinking, "The sooner I get out of this country, the better."
I know many Sydney people and they are generous, kind and friendly. It is a pity their public transport system doesn't reflect that.
Well, I would just like to reassure foreign visitors that we are not all like what I experienced and if it happens to you, please try to ignore it. Australia is a lot more than some rude public transport functionnaries.Edited: 25 April 2010, 22:15